Members of the Druse community watch the fighting in the Druse village of Khadr in Syria as they stand on the Israeli side of the border fence between Syria and the Golan Heights.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Kulanu MK Akram Hasson issued a harsh rebuke of the IDF on Monday, saying that not only is the army not helping the Druse population caught up in Syria's civil war, it is cooperating with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate.
Hasson's comments in an interview with Channel 2 came amid fierce battles in recent days near the Druse village of Khader in the Syrian Golan Heights.
Hasson accused Israel of being responsible for harm being caused to the Druse population of the Syrian Golan. "The IDF is shelling Syrian army positions, which is enabling the Nusra Front to seize Druse land."
The Kulanu MK further charged that "it is no secret that the IDF is cooperating with [the Nusra Front]. In the past they have told us that the Nusra Front coordinates with the IDF. We don't know? What, were we born yesterday?"
Hasson claimed that under former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon there was an agreement in place by which it was understood that nobody would enter the Druse village, and in exchange the local Druse would not interfere with the fighting in the area.
"Today, after they took control of the most strategic positions and after the Syrian army left the area, they blocked the access road to Damascus, and isolated Khader from the rest of Syria, and they are slaughtering people," he added.
Hasson's comments came a day after some 200 Israeli Druse held a demonstration in Majd al-Shams, calling on Israel to help their Syrian brethren.
The village of Khader, which is right across from Majd al-Shams, on the other side of Mount Hermon, is home to some 25,000 Druse.
The Nusra Front has sought to control Khader for some time in order to gain control of the entire Golan Heights. The al-Qaida-linked fighters number several hundred men as well as dozens of tanks that they have seized. During fierce fighting near Khader last year
, and fear for the Druse community, the IDF sent messages to the Nusra Front through the Free Syrian Army, warning the Islamist group not to harm Syria's Druse.Yossi Melman contributed to this report.